The Residing Crow

Pairing: Jax/Tara

Rated: (T) What would Sons of Anarchy be without swearing?

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my love for Sons of Anarchy.

AN: I've been away from fanfic for a while, getting jilted will do that too you. *Eyeing you, General Hospital.* Anyway. Here is a little something that came to me and I had to write. It's a short one-shot focused on Tara and a little bit of Jax. I've always wondered what the circumstances were that led Tara to getting the crow on her back. Since the show hasn't said, I came up with my own story for it.

Hope you enjoy.

"Does it hurt, babe?"

It was the third time he'd asked her that in the last hour.

"Not really. It's just–" Tara winced as the needle vibrated against her spine. "– uncomfortable."

Her eyes were closed so she couldn't see Jax sitting in the chair next to where she was laying, but she could feel his presence, strong and steady, and it kept her focused on him instead of the pain.

If her mother were alive, she'd kill her for getting a crow tattooed on her lower back.

If her father wasn't a raging drunk, he might too.

But her mother had died when Tara was only nine and her father had been a drunk all her life, so she wasn't afraid of meeting her maker anytime soon. Not over the tattoo anyway.

She could hear Jax shift, and smell the faint scent of soap mingling with cigarette as he moved closer. His fingers brushed her cheek in a feather light touch and he tucked the hair that had fallen over her face behind her ear.

Tara opened her eyes. Jax was looking down at her, his blue eyes bright with boyish excitement.

"It looks good," he said, nodding at her lower back for emphasis. "You'll love it."

When he looked at her like that she couldn't help but smile. Jax didn't know it yet, but she already loved it. The tattoo meant more to her than a simple bond between the two of them, it made her feel like she belonged. And for a girl that grew up an only child, wanting for affection that never came, belonging meant everything.

It was funny that a tattoo should change her world in such a profound way, but in a world like the one they lived in, being tagged was a big thing.

She could still remember the night, a little over a year ago, that Jax came knocking at her bedroom window, anxious to show her "something."

Tara had been asleep, but woke up at the first sound that announced his arrival. She'd barely snuck him into her room, before Jax had stripped off his shirt and shown her his back. The Sons of Anarchy tat was huge, she could hardly believe that he'd gotten it. It was freshly done, puckered and red. Jax hadn't even kept the wrapping on.

"Why did you go and get that?" she'd asked in distaste.

"Why'd you have to go and say some shit like that?" he'd snapped.

"I'm sorry, Jax. I just didn't expect it is all. It's nice. I like it," she said truthfully. "But you need something on it. I'll be back." She'd quietly rushed out of her room before he could see the tears that slipped from her eyes.

The truth was, she'd been jealous. All it signified to her was that Jax further fell into a family, and that she was pushed further out of his life and away from the one person who'd actually accepted her without question.

She'd grabbed the A&D from the medicine cabinet and composed herself before going back to her room. Jax was lying down on his stomach, spread out on her bed. He had a disconcerting way of looking like he fit, no matter where he was, and her bed was no exception.

He took her hand as she reached the bed and she bent to kiss him. He tasted like beer. She liked the taste on him, so she let her tongue slip over his.

"You really like it?" he asked as they broke away.

She nodded. "Yeah, I do." Tara sat down next to his body and applied a good amount of ointment over his back. "Did it hurt?"

He shook his head. "Nah."

"You want one one day?"

Her brows drew together. "A tattoo? Maybe."

Jax rolled to his side. "Not just a tattoo. A crow," he said. His normally playful eyes had gone serious.

Tara knew what the crow meant and she couldn't stop the momentary flood of excitement from blooming in her chest. Still, she was cautious. "I don't know. You sure you want to be stuck with me forever?"

"As long as you're sure you want to be my old lady forever?"

She hadn't been more sure of anything in her life.

Jax gently touched her bare knee with the tips of her fingers. Tara loved his fingers, strong and capable, a little rough – a lot like him. Jax's hand moved up her thigh and under the hem of one of his t-shirts that she'd somehow acquired.

"Yeah, one day," she whispered.

The day had come.

They'd taken off on Jax's bike after school let out. He'd told her he had a somewhere important to take her, but wouldn't tell her where. When they pulled up at Hardy's Tattoo Parlor, she was expecting Jax to tell her he was getting another one. But instead he said, "Where do you want it."

She didn't have to ask what it was, she already knew. She didn't even have to think of a place to put it, she already knew that, too. "Your mom is gonna freak," she said.

Jax smiled mischievously. "Yeah, well she'll get over it."

"I want it here." Tara pointed at the spot at the back of her waist band.

Jax whistled. "I like that."

She knew he would.

It had been over an hour since then and the tattoo was almost done. Jax was still grinning at her and though she didn't show it, Tara was happier than she'd been in what seemed like ever.

"That's it," Hardy's smoke worn voice called out from behind her. "Mirror's over there."

She sat up and Jax helped her down, showing her to the full length mirror.

Tara couldn't keep in the surprised gasp at the sight of the crow on her back. She knew that it was there, had felt the pain of each needle's plunge under her skin, had even mentally prepared herself for the permanent change. But somehow, actually seeing it was something she could have never been ready for.

"It's so..."

"What?" Jax asked, warily. It was the first time he'd shown any worry about her getting the tattoo.


Looking over her shoulder into the mirror, she stared at the new addition. It wasn't just the tattoo that was perfect, it was the moment. The girl who'd been searching for a place all her life, finally belonged.

Jax let his fingers trace the outline of the crow, a slow smile tugging the corners of his mouth. "You're mine now, babe."

Tara nodded. She liked that just fine.